It is incredible to think that in less than two decades how drastically human beings have become dependent on technology. Parents of the current time remember when payphones were the easiest way to stay in touch when traveling or away from a home phone. But now, payphones are as rare to be seen today as someone with a beeper. And to further that thought, most individuals don’t even know what a beeper is! Technology, and more specifically phones, have far surpassed their want and/or need in the world today. Phones were a means of communication, a tool that could provide improved safety by eliminating the distance gap of needed conversation. However today, phones are a way of everyday life for most people in the world. Smartphones provide a door into multiple worlds; personal banking, shopping, media enjoyment, virtual communication, social media engagement, weather and travel updates, etc. But with such convenience also lies an underlying caution for most, the risk of addiction. This is especially true for young adults and children in today’s world who have always known cellular phone use in their life. So then what can be done to reduce phone addiction? At Maui Recovery we understand first hand the impact of phone addiction can have on an individual’s life. In fact, our co-founder Dr. Nicholas Kardaras is on a mission to help end the epidemic of blue screen addiction, especially in children where the impact is most severe. As with anything, what we can all do is focus on the positive, which is finding ways to help reduce phone addiction.
How To Define Phone Addiction In Today’s World
Someone having a phone addiction can be classified as someone with a disorder involving compulsive overuse of their phone or mobile devices. Phone addiction is also usually quantified as the number of times a user accesses their device and/or the total amount of time they are online over a specified period. It is important to understand that compulsive smartphone use is just one type of technology addiction. Brain imaging research shows that stimulating glowing screens are as dopamine-activating to the brain’s pleasure center as sex. Phone notifications such as a ‘Like’, ‘Comment’, or ‘Follow’ can actually trigger the brain for dopamine release and instigate addiction. If you’re thinking this seems a bit dramatic, then consider the linked disorders found to be correlated with phone addiction. In recent findings, smartphone addiction research correlates screen tech with disorders like ADHD, addiction, anxiety, depression, increased aggression, and even psychosis. Most shocking of all, recent brain imaging studies conclusively show that excessive screen exposure can neurologically damage a young person’s developing brain in the same way that drug addiction can. Quoting our co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Nicholas Kardaras – “I’ve worked with hundreds of heroin addicts and crystal meth addicts, and what I can say is that it’s easier to treat a heroin addict than a true screen addict.” Some of what can be done to reduce phone addiction depends on awareness, as both an individual and society.
Interestingly enough, there have been quite a few tech genius minds that are aware of the correlation between technology use and phone addiction. Steve Jobs was a low-tech parent In 2010, when a reporter suggested that his children must love the just-released iPad, he replied: “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.” (New York Times September 10, 2014.) This should speak volumes, as ironically, Apple and its enormously famous iPhone have played a huge role in smartphone availability and demand. Being aware of your screen time, or someone you love such as a child you are concerned about, is key. Perhaps balance is the answer for what can be done to reduce phone addiction, as balance is also maybe the key to life in general. Phones and their role in everyday life can be kept at a healthy level when used as needed.
What Can Be Done To Reduce Phone Addiction
Maui Recovery recognizes the importance of technology but isn’t blind to its potential negative effects either, specifically the risk of addiction. What can be done to reduce phone addiction is especially important in regards to children and young adolescents. In fact, the simple truth is kids need time for exposure to all kinds of stimuli for proper brain development. Children need time to work on social skills while also needing physical exercise for proper body development. For example, if too much time is spent on a phone or other digital device, that is time taken away from addressing other important facets of life. Leaving a child at risk for phone addiction, which can then lead to other concerning disorders they could experience for the rest of their life. Thankfully, there are ways to help yourself or a loved one reset from the programming of phone addiction. Tips and proven tricks can help with what can be done to reduce phone addiction. Some of these can include, for example:
- Trying a 30-Day Experiment to reset the usage of a phone, whether that means limiting use, or setting up a mindful schedule of use, utilizing discipline.
- Utilizing an app to bolster self-control has also been proven successful with breaking phone addiction. Apps such as Forest, Flipd, Moment, and Space are great for focusing!
- Never, repeat, NEVER charge your phone near your bed to help break phone addiction.
- Pick up the habit of putting your phone away at certain times of your day. Such as when you walk through the door at home, your locker at school or work, or when your child or children are present.
- Set aside one day a week where you connect back with nature. Whether it be a walk, hike, bike ride, or stroll entirely phone free.
- Change your phone settings, utilize the “do not disturb” or “silent mode” settings on your phone during certain times or tasks during your day.
- Ask for help! What greater courage could we have then wanting the best life for ourselves. Seek a recovery center that can provide treatment for phone addiction.
Of course, what can be done to reduce phone addiction is not limited to what has been shared above. One benefit of having technology is the wonderful availability of information found online today, whether it be through support groups or sites that provide general knowledge. Phone addiction treatment is available, and the resources needed to do so are at most people’s fingertips.
Why Maui Recovery Can Provide The Solution To Phone Addiction
Reversing the breakdown of mind, body, and spirit that phone addiction can create is real and possible. What can be done to reduce phone addiction? Finding the best treatment available as soon as possible. Our mission at Maui Recovery is to welcome, nurture and care for individuals and families on their healing journey to recovery from phone addiction. By empowering our clients’ restoration & transformation from addiction through providing programs that heal the Whole Self we offer healing. Going from a shame core to a love core, Maui Recovery provides the tools necessary to cultivate meaningful human connection, intimacy, and purposeful living. Our staff has seen countless people recover from what often appears as a hopeless condition. We take pride in providing the best treatments available for our clients seeking to break free from phone addiction.